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The Costs of Lying : Consequences of Telling Self-Centered and Other-Oriented Lies on the Self-Esteem and Affect of Liars

Preuter, Sanne (2021) The Costs of Lying : Consequences of Telling Self-Centered and Other-Oriented Lies on the Self-Esteem and Affect of Liars.

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Abstract:Deceiving others is generally viewed as immoral and unethical. However, most people lie on a daily basis. This paper examines the psychological consequences of telling lies for the liars themselves, as they are participating in what is generally perceived as immoral behavior. More specifically, this paper focuses on the effects of self-centered and other-oriented lying on the liar’s self-esteem and affect. In four studies, we tested if lying, in comparison to telling the truth, lowers liars’ self-esteem and positive affect. We also tested if these effects would be stronger for self-centered lying than for other-oriented lying, as self-centered lying is generally seen as more immoral than other-oriented lying. In total, three cross-sectional studies and one longitudinal were conducted. Results from all four studies showed that lying decreases people’s self-esteem, regardless of what type of lie was told. Studies 1 and 4 showed that lying increases negative affect, regardless of what type of lie was told. People who had lied on a given day experienced a decrease in self-esteem compared to their self-esteem on the previous day and to their average level of self-esteem. Moreover, people who lied perceived lying as more acceptable than people who told the truth.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/85697
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